Dutch language backgrounds

27 common English pronunciation problems

FIX PROBLEM ENGLISH SOUND - COMMON ERROR - PRACTICE MATERIALS
Relax the mouth and keep sound short. /ɪ/ "sit" /i:/ "seat" Minimal Pairs /ɪ/ or / i: / practice

Move front of tongue a little higher. /e/ "set" /æ/ "sat" Minimal Pairs /e/ or /æ/ practice

Move tongue to a lower front position. /æ/ "man" /e/ "men" Minimal Pairs /e/ or /æ/ practice

Tongue low central. Lips relaxed. /ʌ/ "cup"

Minimal Pairs /æ/ or /ʌ/ practice

Drop tongue to make mouth a little deeper. /ʌ/ "London" (1st syllable) /ə/ "London" (2nd syllable)
Keep mouth round and tongue back. /ɒ/ "not"

Minimal Pairs /ɒ/ or /ɔ:/ practice
Minimal Pairs /ɑ:/ or /ɒ/ practice

Back of tongue high. Lips rounded but relaxed. Short. /ʊ/ "full" /u:/ "fool" Minimal Pairs /ʊ/ or / u: / practice

Fix tongue in central position. Long. /ɜ:/ "bird"

Minimal Pairs /e/ or /ɜ:/ practice
Minimal Pairs /ʌ/ or /ɜ:/ practice
Minimal Pairs /ɔ:/ or /ɜ:/ practice

Start with tongue not so low. /eɪ/ "late" /aɪ/ "light"
Tongue low front to high front to centre. /aɪə/=/aɪ/+/ə/ "fire"


Don't make last part too strong. /ɔɪ/ "boy"


Tongue central. Then tightly round lips. /əʊ/ "note" /ɒ/ "not"
Tongue low front. Then round & unround lips. /aʊə/=/aʊ/+/ə/ "flour"

Minimal Pairs /aʊ/ or /aʊə/ practice

Start with lips tightly rounded. Unround. /ʊə/ "tour"


Tip of tongue behind top teeth. /d/ "made" /t/ "mate" Minimal Pairs /t/ or /d/ practice

Voiced. Friction with top teeth & bottom lip. /v/ "van" /f/ "fan"
Voiceless. Friction. Tongue between teeth. /θ/ "thin"

Minimal Pairs /θ/ or /ð/ practice
Minimal Pairs /θ/ or /t/ practice
Minimal Pairs /θ/ or /d/ practice
Minimal Pairs /θ/ or /s/ practice

Voiced. Friction. Tongue between teeth. /ð/ "they" /d/ "day" Minimal Pairs /ð/ or /d/ practice

Voiced. Friction. Tongue between teeth. /ð/ "clothe" /z/ "close" /z/
Voiced: tip of tongue behind top teeth. Friction. /z/ "rise" /s/ "rice" Minimal Pairs /s/ or /z/ practice

Voiceless. Friction. Front of tongue to palate. /ʃ/ "push"


Voiced: Front of tongue to palate. Friction. /ʒ/ "confusion" /ʃ/ "Confucian"
Back of tongue to back roof. Nasal. /ŋk/ "think" /ŋ/ "thing" Minimal Pairs /ŋ/ or /ŋk/ practice

British "r" is weaker & usually silent
unless followed by a vowel.
silent "survivor" /r/ "Sir Ivor"
Start with lips tightly rounded. Unround & glide. /w/ "west" /v/ "vest" Minimal Pairs /w/ or /v/ practice

Unvoiced: Tip to alveolar. Front to palate. /ʧ/ "cherry"


Voiced: Tip to alveolar. Front to palate. /ʤ/ "wage"



EXTERNAL LINK: Non-native pronunciations of English: Dutch L1